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Using baselines for dynamic documents

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Using baselines for dynamic documents

My understanding of a baseline in Windchill: a collection of items in a specified version. This is basically version control that is required for an assembly and it's many parts. In Windchill SIM, it is required for version control of a manual and it's many xml descendants.

However, it seems we can't do anything with this baseline in SIM.

Some cases:

  1. Opening this baseline (or an object from this baseline) is not possible. You can add a baseline to your workspace, but you can only open the latest version in Arbortext.
  2. Request a new translation from a baseline. When a product is selling well in a particular region, product management decides later that we want to sell it in a different region too and thus require new translations for an old manual. It is however impossible to transfer this package (what a baseline essentially is) to a translation package. Translation packages can only be created on the latest version, not from a baseline.
  3. Publish from a baseline.
    1. Our software in some products is released on a monthly basis. This requires updates of the documentation at a very fast pace. Translations of the latest release are only available later when the source language is already revised towards the next release. Incoming translations are linked to the correct version, but can never be published because it is impossible to publish from the older version, only from the latest version.
    2. Our corporate marketing has decided for new brand guidelines. We update the stylesheets for technical documentation accordingly. Management asks to republish some popular documents in the new layout. Unfortunately, Windchill can't publish from a baseline, only the latest.

On top of that, try to explain writers the concepts of configuration management and ask to do promotion requests, baselines, revisions, etc., while you can't offer them any benefit.

So, what are we doing wrong? It seems that one of the most fundamental features of Windchill is simply not integrated with the functionality that SIM claims to offer.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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Re: Using baselines for dynamic documents

I want to clarify a few items related to baselines and Dynamic Documents.

 

1. The way to open the contents of a baseline in Arbortext is to add that baseline to a Workspace.  When Arbortext connects to that workspace, it will use the revisions that are in the Workspace.  It is true that you can only check out the latest, but you can view whichever versions are in the workspace.

2. As Joe pointed out, you can request a translation of a baseline.  You do have to be sure that the entire compound document is in the baseline.  (At least all translated contents - if you have non-translated graphics then they do not have to be in the baseline.)  You should be in the Structure view, Edit the filter so it uses the baseline, then do Create Translation package.

3. You can publish from a baseline.  In the Publish Representation dialog, the second step allows you to select the Configuration Specification.  One of the choices is the baseline.

3.2 The stylesheets are different since they are stored on the Publishing Engine server.  If you need to change the stylesheets, you need to select them in PE.

 

I did find that the "Translation Content Table" is not correct for a dynamic document that is filtered by a baseline.  

 

Also, if you use a Publication Structure, then you can use filters including baseline filters.  

View solution in original post

8 REPLIES 8
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Re: Using baselines for dynamic documents

Ditto on all of this! PTC, any progress on getting this available?

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Re: Using baselines for dynamic documents

Just for linkage and reference, some of this previously brought up in this Community idea:

 

https://community.ptc.com/t5/Windchill-Ideas/Extend-baseline-capabilities-to-Windchill-SIM/idi-p/484...

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Re: Using baselines for dynamic documents

Thanks Michael. Do you know if PTC has this on the roadmap?

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Re: Using baselines for dynamic documents

That is not something I know, but hopefully someone else from Support or Product Management can chime in. 

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Re: Using baselines for dynamic documents

Awesome news to round out the year: PTC Support got back to me with an explanation of how to apply a baseline to a bookmap! I've tested it and it seems to work perfectly--I was finally able to create a translation package for a previous version of a doc instead of the most recent.

 

I’ve written up some quick notes in the attachment.

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Re: Using baselines for dynamic documents

I want to clarify a few items related to baselines and Dynamic Documents.

 

1. The way to open the contents of a baseline in Arbortext is to add that baseline to a Workspace.  When Arbortext connects to that workspace, it will use the revisions that are in the Workspace.  It is true that you can only check out the latest, but you can view whichever versions are in the workspace.

2. As Joe pointed out, you can request a translation of a baseline.  You do have to be sure that the entire compound document is in the baseline.  (At least all translated contents - if you have non-translated graphics then they do not have to be in the baseline.)  You should be in the Structure view, Edit the filter so it uses the baseline, then do Create Translation package.

3. You can publish from a baseline.  In the Publish Representation dialog, the second step allows you to select the Configuration Specification.  One of the choices is the baseline.

3.2 The stylesheets are different since they are stored on the Publishing Engine server.  If you need to change the stylesheets, you need to select them in PE.

 

I did find that the "Translation Content Table" is not correct for a dynamic document that is filtered by a baseline.  

 

Also, if you use a Publication Structure, then you can use filters including baseline filters.  

View solution in original post

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Re: Using baselines for dynamic documents

It works, but the implementation is far from user friendly, and is simply not complete.

1. Opening historical items is indeed possible from Arbortext. In Windchill however, the Open in Arbortext Action is missing from the workspace view or the historical object view. A check-out should of course not be available, but an Open action should be.

2. Requesting a new translation package on an old baseline is indeed possible. The procedure is rather cumbersome though. Why does a user have to bother with the filters? The baseline is essentially a package already. It would be handy to have a "create translation package" action from a baseline view.

3. Publishing from a baseline is possible. We use it all the time. However, after editing the filter, the users still have to refresh the browser before the edited filter is actually applied. That additional action (which is sometimes not effective and has to be done a couple of times) leads to mistakes when the user is not very attentive. We are used to it by now, but I want to stress we didn't even know the capability was possible in the first place and when we were pointed to it by a consultant, it was inconsistent at first because we missed the magic of the additional refresh.

So yes, the capabilities are available, so I accept the solution. But to make them work as expected, we still hope to see several improvements.

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Re: Using baselines for dynamic documents

Yes, I agree that we can continue to make improvements in this area.

 

I'm not quite sure about your comment about Publishing from a baseline.  For a compound document, you should be able to select the baseline in the second step of the "Create Representation" wizard, and not have to use the filter first.  For a Publication Structure, you can either filter it first or specify the filter a publishing rule.

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